This past fall, Redeemer broke ground on a new residence and learning facility that is scheduled to open in time for the fall 2021 term. While the top three floors of the building will be living spaces, the lower level will accommodate new, exciting learning spaces including the new Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a key initiative of the Learn. Forward. Strategic Plan. The centre will have flexible classroom space, a makerspace and innovation breakout space. It will feature a modern and flexible design with modular furniture, mobile tech and space for creative group learning.
“In a society that is changing rapidly, we need to prepare the next generation to bring innovative approaches as they reflect the hope of the gospel,” says Dr. David Zietsma, provost and vice president, academic. Zietsma is leading the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Working Group, made up of faculty and staff members. The group is developing plans for the centre including researching several other innovation spaces and makerspaces across North America.
The makerspace, an innovative learning space within the centre, will incorporate creative tools, technology and flexible furniture to give Redeemer students a place to experience the design thinking process. Innovation design thinking is a process for creative problem solving that encourages empathetic, human-centred design. When using innovation design thinking principles, users optimistically examine all aspects of a problem and experiment to find new and creative solutions. The five phases of design thinking include framing a question, gathering inspiration, generating ideas, prototyping solutions and sharing the story.
…we need to prepare the next generation to bring innovative approaches as they reflect the hope of the gospel.
Zietsma sees innovation design thinking and the makerspace as a relevant part of every program across the university. “In Redeemer’s liberal arts and science context, students develop important creative, critical thinking and collaboration skills. But we also want them to think innovatively and entrepreneurially about the opportunities and challenges that face them. Together, these skills, combined with the rest of their Redeemer experience will make graduates ready to pursue their callings into all areas of life, filling the opportunities and meeting the needs of an increasingly complex world,” he says.
The new residence and learning facility will include a total of four classrooms of varying sizes, as well as two lounge areas. The spaces will be fitted with modern technology, smart design and plenty of glass for an open, spacious feel. The new classroom and learning spaces will also help Redeemer meet the needs of a growing student population. In 2020, the university welcomed the largest incoming class in its history with an enrolment increase of 13.5 per cent over the previous year. Enrolment is expected to exceed 1,000 students in fall 2021.